[Ask a teen boy to present this first-person report.]
My name is Jamyson [JAY-mih-sohn]. I was not the best Christian young person. I had been losing interest in the church for some time. Life at home with my stepfather was difficult. In spite of my mother’s efforts to keep me in church, I was spending a lot of time with my non-Adventist friends and adopting their not-so-great lifestyle. Life was losing its meaning.
But then I went on a spiritual retreat sponsored by our local church. There I was challenged to think about my life and my relationship with God. Before the retreat ended I surrendered my life totally to God.
At the retreat I heard about Mission Caleb, a program sponsored by the Adventist Church in Brazil. It brings high school and college students together to work in a specific area to build up the church there. Volunteers find ways to help people in the community as well as to visit people and give Bible studies to those who are interested.
So I made the big decision and signed up to give up a month of my summer vacation to be a part of Mission Caleb. I was excited about traveling to another part of this big country, but I also wanted to get closer to God. I was eager for Mission Caleb to begin.
Then just a week before we were to leave, our project had to be canceled. I was disappointed. I thought about it and realized that there must be some other way I could give my vacation to God. I asked God to help me figure something out. That same afternoon a friend called and asked if I would like to go colporteuring—selling Adventist books and materials door to door—for a month. I was sure this was God’s answer to my prayer, so I agreed. I packed my things, and the next day I traveled to the town where I would work.
My faith in God was strengthened during my month of selling Christian books and literature. I felt God’s presence many times as I knocked on doors. I learned to rely on prayer and spent lots of time with God. I loved it! I knew that I wanted to colporteur during my summer vacation.
I had been attending a public school, but God planted another dream in my heart—to attend the Adventist school, Central Brazil Academy. I realized that I could earn part of my tuition working as a colporteur.
I worked hard and was able to earn enough for my first semester’s expenses at the Adventist school. I loved studying in an Adventist environment, where the students worshipped and prayed together.
During the next vacation I sold literature again to earn my school fees. I worked hard and prayed a lot, but I ended vacation far short of what I needed. I knew that my mom couldn’t help me with my school bill, so I asked God to show me His will.
I returned to school with no assurance that I would be able to pay my bills. I continued studying, and I worked on campus to help pay my bill. But I soon realized that I wouldn’t be able to earn enough. I talked to my pastor and teachers about finding a sponsor, and I prayed. But nothing changed.
Finally I admitted defeat. I packed my things and planned to catch the bus home on Sunday. I would sell literature to earn money and return the next year.
On Saturday night I was visiting friends’ rooms to tell them goodbye when a man I had met the day before found me. “Do you really want to leave?” he asked. I told him I wanted to stay but didn’t have the money.
“I will pay your tuition through the end of the school year,” he said. I was speechless. That night God showed me He was in control. He did not part the Red Sea until Moses held out his rod. God didn’t meet my need until my time was up. But He is always faithful.
Growing up I heard many stories about God’s faithfulness. Now I have my own story to tell. But this is just the beginning. God hasn’t revealed the rest of my story yet.
God is using Central Brazil Academy to lead many young people to Christ and train us for His service. We need a church in which to worship as a community. Right now we meet in lecture halls, dormitory chapels, and even outdoors. Thank you for helping us with your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering to build a church to honor Him.